Like everyone else in the world, I watched the Florida debate last night. I especially enjoyed how the rogue camera operators ignored the rule about cut-away shots and caught George W. barely controlling his desire to lunge at Kerry’s eyes. When the latest JFK started talking about Bush Senior, I thought the president might lift his lectern above his head and smite his insolent challenger.
Kerry seemed to have a better eye for the little red light, because he was rarely caught with an off-camera face. He tended to smile and nod while Bush spoke, occasionally writing down his next withering rebuttal.
My sense from about the half-hour point was that Kerry was steady and strong while Bush was flat-footed and unprepared to give detailed answers. Anyone else notice how he’d finish up while the 15 second light was on and then nod to Jim Lehrer as if to say—Okay, I’m done. Can you ask the other guy something hard now?
Last night was supposed to be W’s chance to exceed expectations once again and put the final boot to Kerry’s face. He did neither. I checked a good chunk of the American media post-debate, including the Fox News website, and even they agree that Kerry won Round One.
And soon, very soon, Andrew Potter will be buying me a beer.